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  CSPAN    Capitol Hill Hearings    News/Business.  

    January 2, 2013
    1:00 - 6:00am EST  

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join together to strengthen our hand against russia's outrageous actions by passing a permanent normal trade relations. we did it by one of the largest bipartisan votes a trade bill has ever seen. i would this is only the beginning of the work we must have begun. we must reach an agreement that combines and tie and a reform with revenues in a way that puts his back on a path to growth and prosperity. if we're going to accomplish this, we must work together.
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republicans and democrats, congress and the white house. the federal government and the states. the public sector and the private sector. mr. speaker, some might say that saying those things is a cliche. but as we all know, members are going to have to engage with and rigorous debate, and there it is going to be the clash of ideas, a rigorous debate, but it needs to be done with good faith and the spirit of compromise. i realize and some argue that compromise is a sign of weakness. in fact, one of the great strengths, mr. speaker, of our nation's founders, was their ability to compromise. the very structure of this institution, the united states congress, the very structure of
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our institution, which joined the people's house, where we are all privileged to serve, with the united states senate, was known as what? the connecticut compromise, or the great compromise. that is the very basis of our founders. too often we forget that while we should never, we should never compromise our principles, we must always, mr. speaker, we must always be prepared to compromise in the service of our principles. a couple weeks ago, "the economist" described another example of compromise -- this one that justice brandeis described as "one of the laboratories of democracy." the state of georgia. conservative republican governor, are former house colleague, and the liberal mayor
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of atlanta, are clearly at opposite ends of the political spectrum. yet they have managed to bridge the divide with a commitment to results. mr. speaker, together they have achieved significant gains for the good of georgia. mr. speaker, congress and the white house are perfectly capable of following that same model for the good of our country. americans may be politically divided, but they are united in their desire to see their leaders in washington achieve results. mr. speaker, we know it is far from perfect, but i hope this bipartisan agreement can lay the foundation for continued work to address the tremendous challenges that we face as a nation.
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millions of americans are out of work. the national debt as a percentage of gross domestic product is too high. upheaval exists in nearly every region across the globe. education and immigration reform must happen. the potential for a crippling cyber attack continues to be a threat. climate change is a fact of life and, most recently, our families are reeling from the tragedy of newtoen. they're asked -- newtown. they're asking how we can prevent it from happening ever again, and how we can prevent guns from getting into the hands of dangerous people. these of the great challenges to which we all must rise, for which we all must find real
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solutions. i look forward to continue to do my small part as i follow the madisonia directn event returned to california as a private citizen. it has been an incredible honor, an incredible honor for me to serve in what i described, even though the senate often takes this label -- this is the greatest deliberative body known to man. i consider it an amazing honor to be able to serve. as i depart, and i hope there is no correlation to my departure, i believe that the united states congresscan actually be better than it has ever been. with that, i yield back the balance of my time. >> i rise today to urge what a colleague from georgia calls a legacy vote. making permanent the tax cuts republicans enacted in 2001 and 2003.
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i could not agree more. let me say why. we are making permanent tax policies republican originals they crafted. back then, despite having a majority in the house and the senate and a republican in the white house, those policies were only temporary. that is because democrats refused to join republicans providing tax relief for working families. after more than a decade of criticizing these tax cuts, democrats are joining with republicans making these tax cut permanent. republicans and the american people are getting something really important -- permanent tax relief. as big as that is, it is only the first step when it comes to taxes. this legislation settles the level of revenue washington should bring an. next, we need to make the tax code simpler and more fair for families and small businesses. we need to pursue a comprehensive and fundamental tax reform to create the jobs we
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need and make american businesses and workers competitive in the global marketplace. simply put, the tax code is a nightmare. -- toooo complex, to timand time-consuming, and too costly. 60% of taxpayers have to hire others to do their tax returns because the code is too complicated. as a result, the tax compliance industry would consume 6.1 billion hours, the equivalent of 3 million full-time workers. and yes, it is too costly. in a 2008, taxpayers spent $163 billion to comply with individual and corporate income tax rolls. add to the fact that the u.s. has the highest corporate tax rate in the oecd, and is not too difficult to imagine why many do not view america as an
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attractive place to invest and hire. nothing about the bill we are considering tonight changes any of those realities. that is why the ways and means committee will pursue a comprehensive tax reform in the next congress. by making republican tax cut permanent, we are one step closer to a comprehensive tax reform that will strengthen our economy and create more and higher paid jobs for american workers. i urge my colleagues to support this bill and get us one step for -- closer to tax reform and reserve the balance of my time. >> the gentleman from michigan. >> i yield myself such time as i may consume. >> the gentleman is recognized. >> this is a bipartisan bill, and i will try to keep it in that spirit. as we are here today on january 1, hours away from americans returning to work, markets reopening around the world,
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around the world, and all eyes focusing on whether this institution can govern. this legislation allows us to get done what we need to get done. this bill is vital for our nation's economic well-being, and i want to emphasize, for its standing as the world's most important economy. it is vital for 114 million middle-class families whose tax cuts are made permanent. it is vital for 2 million unemployed american workers who need continuation of their insurance as they continue to look. for look it is vital -- as they continue to look for work. it is vital for 30 million middle income americans who otherwise would have been hit by the alternative minimum tax. it is vital for 25 -- i emphasize this -- 25 million
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working families and students who benefit from the child tax credit, the earned income tax credit, and the american opportunity tax credit, which help families pay for college and is vital to physicians and millions of their patients who would have been hurt by drastic cuts in medicare reimbursement rates. it is vital for businesses, for whom the expansion of tax provisions such as the r&d credit and renewable energy credits that must continue in this great country of ours. and bonus depreciation to encourage business investment. i want to emphasize this somewhat with in contrast to what our chairman has said. this legislation breaks the iron barrier that for far too long
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has prevented additional tax revenues from the very wealthiest. it raises $620 billion in revenue. achieving the president's goal of asking the wealthiest 2% of americans to pay more while protecting 98% of families. that is what it does. 97% -- i want to emphasize this, contrary to propaganda from the other side, 97% of a small business is protected from any tax increase. this needs to be emphasized, especially in view of your chairmcomments. this package is vital for future deficit-reduction efforts. setting the stage for a balanced approach from here on out. delaying sequestration.
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yesterday, president obama again said he is committed to deficit reduction. but he emphasized several times, and i " "we have got to do this in a balanced, responsible way, with additional revenue as well as spending cuts." so i urge its passage. this bill sets the important precedent i mentioned in terms of additional revenues as well as spending cuts. the time is urgent. the time is now. we should support this legislation. i reserve the balance about time. >> the gentleman's time is reserved. gentleman from michigan, mr. camp. >> i yield three minutes to the distinguished chairman of the oversight committee, the gentleman from california, mr. issa.
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>> the gentleman is recognized for 3 minutes. >> mr. speaker, i would like to be speaking for this bill, but i cannot. in the 12 years, almost to the day, that i have served with in this body, i have voted for every tax cut, every tax cut. i remember many of my colleagues, many of them friends, who each time we vote for them said, where is the pay- for? >mr. speaker, there is $4 trillion of new debt and deficit, and there is now pay- for, and there is no anticipation of a pay-for. to say two months ago a new congress will do what we are not doing today is something i cannot bring myself to do. i would like to vote for this because i'v want americans to have lower taxes, but the other day in conference one of my
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colleagues pointed out that if in fact you are spending the money, you are taxing our future generation. we are taxing $1.20 trillion next year. we are taxing $1.20 trillion. we were not collected, but we are taxing $1.20 trillion of deficit +. . the chairman of the ways and means committee rightfully said we are not simplifying the tax code. we're not making a better or more fair. we are not getting rid of the nascar loophole. we are not getting rid of the electric motor scooter loophole. we're not getting rid of a lot of tax things that are here. most importantly, we are not taking things the president himself said he would be for, like getting the calculation of chain cpi, the consumer price index for social security and
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pensions right, which would reduce the deficit going forward. because of what we are not doing, i cannot believe that this tax cut will in fact be followed with spending cuts to offset any part of this $4 trillion we are putting on the backs of future generations. i thank all of you who will vote for it. i cannot bring myself to vote for tonight. i yield back. >> i yield myself 15 seconds. time after time, when republicans pass tax cuts and never brought $1 to the table to pay for them -- they thought that was a way to promote economic growth. how wrong they were. it is now my privilege to yield one minute to a person who has the title of leader, but who has been so much more. who has valiantly lead our
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efforts -- we owe to nancy pelosi a real debt of gratitude for our being where we are today. with real pleasure, i yield one minute to our distinguished leader, the gentle lady from california. >> recognized for 1 minutes. >> thank the gentleman for yielding and thank him for his great leadership as a ranking member on the ways and means committee and for bringing the clarity wit our thinkin on this important -- to our thinking on this important subject we're dealing with this evening. my colleagues -- we began the day with the vice-president of the united states coming to the democratic caucus and speaking to us about legislation that passed the senate last night, and 89-8. that is absolutely historical. legislation that he helped to negotiate, working with the republican and democratic
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leaders in the united states senate. it was a remarkable accomplishment because, as we all know, although we share the same goals we sometimes have different paths to achieving them. reconciling our differences was a monumental task, especially with the time growing short. so we appreciate the leadership. of the vice president. we appreciate the leadership of republican and democratic leaders in the senate, and we thank speaker boehner for bringing this legislation to the floor. public we can duplicate a strong bipartisan vote that was achieved in the united states senate. why is that important? because the american people told us in the election that they wanted us to work together. they have their differences, too.
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they understand this agreement. they also understand compromise. that is what this legislation represents. the previous speaker said he was voting for the bill for what was not in it. that is an interesting approach. we can judge be legislation we vote on for what is in it, or vote against it for what is not in it. at some point you strike a balance. you balance the equities -- where you come out in terms of making a choice? i hope the choice the american people will make tonight will reflect the well and keep the call of the american people to work together and follow the lead of the senate with a strong bipartisan support. what do they want us to do? what are the priorities? they want us to create jobs. they want us to grow the economy.
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they want us to invest in education. they want us to reduce the deficit. if they want us to strengthen the middle class. that is what this legislation does. it does so in a way that is an important first step. we talk much about what would happen, all the gloom and doom of what would happen if we went over the cliff. let's talk instead about what happens if we do not go over the cliff. i believe that will go on, seeing the rule on the vote this wevening. i believe we will see the american people come together with a strong vote. we will increase, by voting in passing this legislation in a strong bipartisan way, we will increase the confidence of the consumer, of the markets, of business, other employers to hire more. we will extend unemployment insurance for people who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own.
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this is very important, not only to these individuals but there -- our economy, because this is money that is spent, creating jobs. we will extend tax relief for the middle-class, more than 98% of american taxpayers. more than 97% of american small businesses. we will support our middle- class, strengthen net, extending the american opportunity credit, the earned income tax credit, and the like. our distinguished ranking member went through the provisions. it is important to see them in light of what they mean. by doing this, by voting for this agreement, we would demonstrate that we have listened to the american people. we have heeded the call once again as we work together in a bipartisan way.
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i want to salute president obama. he campaigned on strengthening the middle-class. i think all of us probably did. this is one way for us to fulfill that promise. yes, to all those who say, all the other things that do not happen -- i do not know any piece of legislation i have ever voted for that did everything that i thought it should do. but this is a very, very strong first step as we go into the new year. let us say -- send a message to the american people that, again, well this bill does not accomplish all we need to do, to strengthen the middle-class and reduce the deficit, is a good way for us to have a happy start to a new year by taking this first step. i hope that again, you balance the equities, the pros and cons of this legislation -- you will weigh heavily in favor of the message that it sends to the
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kitchen tables of america about the respect we have for them. meeting their needs. meeting the challenges. this great middle-class is the backbone of our democracy. let's all be very patriotic tonight, support our middle- class, support our democracy, a vote aye on this strong bipartisan legislation that passed 89-8 in the united states senate. let's step up to the plate to do that in the house of representatives. i urge my colleagues to vote ate and yield back the balance >> this is the first set. now we can move on to the next up -- we will and -- we can and will pursue a comprehensive tax
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reform for this year, 2013. next, we need to address the fundamental drivers of our deficit and debt. that is out of control spending. with that, i urge support for this bill and reserve the balance of my time. >> 15 seconds. >> the gentleman is recognized. >> i do not want the chairman's statement about permanently how much revenue would be made available -- the president has been made clear there has to be a balanced approach. no one should be misled into thinking otherwise. no one. i now yield two minutes to the distinguished gentleman from new york's, mr. rendell. >> the gentleman from new york is recognized for 2 minutes. >> this is no profile in courage for me to be voting for this bill. it reminds me of a joke we used to have on lenox avenue --
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someone stop hitting you in the head with a hammer and you were supposed to say, thank you so much for the relief. we created this monster. we're the ones u.s. at, at least congress has said -- we are the ones who said, at least congress has said, do what everyone but do not ask me to tax the wealthiest 2% of people in this country to pay their fair share. why don't you start talking about cutting people off from unemployment compensation? why do you think about not providing some much more for the aged? why don't you start privatizing these banks? true this was not the america ideal when i came to the congress. this is something a handful of people from nowhere came here and started preaching we had to destroy big government. the people who had no lobbyists,
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no one to come to, were saved by us, by responsible people who came together and said, basically, have you lost your mind? what are you doing? how can you go home and tell the people this is what you created? so we pause and common sense has prevailed. at least we can go back, and said, not now -- and say, not now, but they are coming again. they have all kinds of words they are using, like the debt ceiling. all this means is they're coming after us and coming after the president. they'll talk about sequestration -- what will it mean? cutting off benefits from people who need them the most, and with due regard to the other body, for once doing what the house could not get together in doing, we have not even seen had to pay for some of these things. things we would have handled differently if we had to pay for those doctors who work very hard for medicare. people say, how are you paying
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for them? everybody had amnesia, not knowing. after it is over, they will get paid, but this congress will make sure that the providers of health care are not penalized for this congress doing the right thing. >> the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from michigan, mr. camp. >> i yield 30 seconds to the distinguish gentleman from texas. >> i wanted to thank somebody on the other side -- after all these years -- for finally acknowledging publicly that 90% of the bush tax cuts help middle-class. i yield back. >> the gentleman yield back. i will yield to my temptation to respond -- i will now yield two minutes to another distinguished gentleman member of our committee, mr. neal of
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massachusetts. >> recognized for 2 minutes. >> thank you. at this late hour, let me point something out and take exception to what chairman camp said at the outset of his remarks. we are here tonight because, despite what the gentleman from texas just as well, you cannot cut taxes by $2.30 trillion over 12 years and fight to wars -- two wars. when you heard the argument before that was so popular -- is the people's money. it will promote economic growth. the most anemic growth the american economy is had since hoover became president. you know what is the people's responsibility? those veterans hospitals. 1.7 million new veterans, 40,000 wounded. you know what the republican whip said? pucutting taxes in a time of war is patriotic. so much for sacrifice for all of
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us. when you look back at how we got to this problem, revenues at 15% of gdp -- that is an eisenhower figure headed toward truman. we have argued 19% to 21% for the better part of 30 years. 12 years of tax cuts. this represents a reasonable step forward tonight. i want to say with some personal satisfaction, i am delighted with what we have finally done to put to rest alternative minimum tax. 1 million families in massachusetts were threatened with alternative minimum tax. it was irresponsible position tonight, but i want to give you a number -- you know what these have cost us? $2.20 trillion. over the life of amt.
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theology we heard that was so popular in this institution -- tax cuts paid for themselves. you cannot find a means to economist today in america who will of knowledge that problem -- mainstream economists today in america who will acknowledge that problem. let's get on two fundamental tax reform. >> the gentleman from michigan, mr. camp. >> are reserved to the gentleman from michigan, mr. 11. evin/ . >> i yield two minutes to mr. blumenauer. >> recognized for 2 minutes. >> thank you. this evening, we are expected to vote on an item that has many commendable and important items. unfortunately, too many of them are of short duration, much is left out, and most importantly we are losing a real opportunity for reform. the sgr is left to torment
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medical providers again. i am pleased the amt is patched tonight, but in fact we all know that it should at a minimum be reformed if not repealed. we have a body blow to the alternative energy industry that somehow was given a year's reprieve, but it is not what they need or what they deserve. and, because we refuse, at a moment of opportunity, to deal meaningfully with the national debt, and remember the budget for my republican friends, authored by my colleague, mr. ryan, would have required $6 trillion head room in the debt ceiling. now, we cannot continue to have the world's largest and most expensive military by far, at
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the lowest taxes of any of the major economies, the most expensive and inefficient health care, and continue to allow our country's infrastructure to fall apart while america ages and grows. this proposal represents absolutely the least we could have done under the circumstances. tragically, institutionalized for the next congress, the madness around here a short term frenzy around self inflicted deadlines that have no reality to them. that drives the american public crazy, and with good reason. not only can we do better, i would suggest that we must do better. may i have 20 more seconds? >> surely. >> the gentleman is recognized an additional 20 seconds. >> it is probably going to pass with overwhelming bipartisan support.
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so be it. i can only hope that spirit of taking a risk on both sides of the aisle and both parties and the administration, that the obama administration and the new congress gets serious about reform and delivering services more cost effectively in ways, ironically, that people on both sides of the aisle agree with that are absent in this proposal. thank you. >> the gentleman from michigan, mr. camp. >> i've reserved. >> the gentleman from michigan, mr. levin. >> i yield two minutes to another member of the ways and means committee. >> the gentleman from new jersey is recognized for 2 minutes. >> the american people are the real winners here tonight. not anyone who navigates these halls. let's make that clear. we do not have a perfect bill in front of us.
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in fact, we have never had a perfect bill in front of us. but this is a bill that will provide much-needed certainty to millions of middle-class american families that their income taxes will not increase. since the recession in 2008, there has been a 25% increase in the number families below the poverty line in my home state of new jersey. i am sure will see more as a result of the devastation of hurricane sandy. last we forget before tomorrow that we need to respond to that storm, as all this responded to the other cascatastrophes over the past 15 years. we should not have exceptions, particularly for the states that are donor states. if you want to get into nickels and dimes, let's get into nickels and dimes.
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we want everybody to step up to the plate. we have been able to help families in need by extending the earned income-tax credit to 500,000 new jersey taxpayers earning an -- who will earn an average of $2,000 more because of the program. we have also held 460,000 new jersey families take advantage of the child tax credit. many of you, regardless of which they you come from, your constituents have taken advantage of that great program. almost 400,000 have been able to use the education tax credits. lest we forget we have done all -- on the alternative minimum tax. the chairman will tell you how many times the alternative minimum tax comes up, and yet we did nothing year-to-year. in just one county in my
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district, 87% of the family's -- >> an additional 30 seconds. >> passing -- i urge a yea vote on this legislation so we can all wake up happy for a change in the morning. thank you. >> mr. camp reserves. the gentleman from michigan. >> i yield two minutes to allyson schwartz, from pennsylvania. >> recognized for 2 minutes. >> thank you. i rise in strong support of the jobs protection and recession prevention act of 2012. by passing this bill, congress can provide economic security and certainty for middle-class families. this has passed the senate with overwhelming bipartisan support, permanently extending 9 tax cuts permanently9% of american families -- tax cuts to 99% of american families. it expands relief for millions
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of young people and makes vital investments that build economic growth and jobs in this country. it averts the fiscal cliff and the humble economic consequences that may have resulted. as we close out this congress, we have reached resolution on a major issue facing this congress and an asian -- their tax policy for our families and our -- this congress and the nation -- their tax policy for our families. i expect it will be difficult to reach a bipartisan solution, but that does not mean it cannot be done. tonight's vote demonstrates it can. it benefits american families and american businesses. i yield back. >> the gentleman from michigan, mr. camp. >> i still reserve. >> the gentleman reserves. >> @ i yield one minute -- i yield one minute to mr. moran. >> thank you, mr. chairman. tonight we will pass 83 provisions that removed a
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revenue. totaling $3.90 trillion. all of the deficit financed. we will add $64 billion for this year to reducing the deficit, so we have a $1.30 trillion annual deficit this year. that will bring it down to $1.24 trillion. many of us feel on this side that deficit does not matter, but it does matter because we have another deficit -- a deficit in the investment and education of our children. a deficit in the training and skills of our work force, and the physical infrastructure of our country. we will have none of those resources to make that investment after we make this vote tonight. the problem is, we have set up three more fiscal cliffs. we will have to deal with the debt ceiling, we will have to deal with the continuing resolution expiration, and we will have to deal with the sequestered. all that is left is spending
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cuts. the only question we have to ask ourselves is, what programs do we cut and how deep do we cut them? we have to look back on this night and regret it, notwithstanding the fact that 95% of us will look for. thank you. >> the gentleman from michigan, mr. camp. >> i'm prepared to close the to the gentleman is prepared to close. >> i yield one minute to the gentleman from new york. >> recognized for one minute. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i rise today to support this bill. essentially, we have two choices here -- we prevent us from going over the cliff, or we go over the cliff. that would wreak havoc with the markets and everything else. it never should have come to this. we should have been negotiating and passing a balanced bill.
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the american people are fed up with what they see in this dysfunctional congress. harry truman, back in 1948 when he was running for president, campaigned against the atf. he called the do nothing 80th congress. that congress passed three times as many bills as the 112th congress. here we are at the last minute, rushing to pass this bill. it never should have happened this way. i commend president obama and vice president biden for protecting in a class with this and doing the best that they can, but my friends and my colleagues, we're going to have to work to meet in a sensible center. we are going to have to not ladies brinksmanship gains. the american people do not want it. president obama won reelection campaigning for the middle- class. this keeps those parties and we ought to support it. >> the gentleman from michigan, mr. camp, continues to reserve. >> i now yield two minutes to
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danny davis, our colleague from illinois and soon to be joining us on ways and means. >> recognized for 2 minutes. >> thank you. i have never seen a compromise where everybody got everything that they wanted or liked everything that they got. i certainly do not like everything that i see in this bill. and i certainly did not get everything that i wanted. but i do like the fact that senior citizens can go to the doctors because they are being paid a reasonable rate. i do not like the fact that some of the health programs in my community, a disproportionate hospitals all across the country are being cut. i discussed two phone calls a few minutes ago from two constituents, one from oak park, ill., one from west chester. they both did all they could to
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convince me to vote against this bill. after listening to them, i then told them, do you know that 320,000 people in our state rely upon unemployment insurance, benef benefits last year? i do not know how i could face those individuals with no hope, .o possibility, no idea when i go to church on sunday, i know i will see people with the assurance that pretty soon an unemployment check is in the mail. that is one of the reasons that, yes, i will vote for this bill. it is good legislation. people needed right now. not next year, not next month, not next week.
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and i yield back. >> the gentleman yields back. >> i now with pleasure yield three minutes to another member of our leadership, the gentleman from south carolina. >> recognized for 3 minutes. >> thank you. i thank the gentleman for yielding me the time. mr. speaker, it is tempting to say it is about time the house put aside their extreme partisanship and work together on a compromise to address the nation's most pressing issues. in reality, it is far past time to put aside extreme partisanship. thread the entirety of the 100th of congress we have seen -- 112th congress we have seen narrow political interests placed ahead of the public interest. here we are on new year's night, the clock running out on the
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very existence of this congress. finally, considering bipartisan legislation to provide middle- class tax cuts rand require the wealthiest once again pay their fair share so we can grow the economy, create jobs, and protect the most vulnerable in our society. it is indeed well past time that we got about the people's business. i served on the group of both republican and democratic representatives and senators who worked with the vice president on our nation's fiscal issues. we made good progress in those talks until our republican friends walked away, fearing the wrath of the tea party. i also served in the bipartisan joint select committee on deficit reduction, the so-called super committee, that spend
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countless hours discussing these issues in detail. it was very clear -- the elements of a fair and balanced fiscal plan were achievable. but at the end of the process, the republican leaders refuse to compromise and the super committee failed. so here we are. well this is not a perfect bill, and i have serious concerns about some of the cuts it contains, it does contain the element of fairness. this bill protects the middle- class. >> the gentleman is recognized for an additional 60 seconds. >> the bill protects the middle- class and working people with a more progressive tax code than we have had in a very long time. and this bill prevents the meat axe approach to budget cuts that could do more severe damage to our national defense and import
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and domestic priorities. mr. speaker, i hope that the 112th congress will end this week -- i am hoping the 113th congress can work together toward honorable compromises to get the people's business done. i urge a yes vote. thank you. >> the gentleman yield back his time. the gentleman from michigan. >> we are going to vote soon. but first we want to hear from our whip, the distinguished gentleman from maryland who has worked so hard on this issue for decades. mr. hoyer. >> the gentleman from maryland is recognized for 3 minutes. >> i thank mr. kemp for his leadership. there is, of course, it's time
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for partisanship. there is a time for making a political points. that time has been and it will be again. that time is not tonight. all of us have travelled throughout this country and we have heard our constituents and our neighbors and our friends say, please do not have us go over the cliff. we're not sure exactly what going over the cliff means, but they intuitively and deeply feel that it will not be good to go over that cliff. the sooner we come to this -- so we come to this floor tonight with almost everybody who has spoken saying this bill is not perfect. of course, that could be applied to any and all bills that we consider in this house. compromise is not the art of perfection. by its very definition, compromise contains elements
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that neither side likes. but it also contains pieces both sides can embrace. what we will do tonight is not only adopt a piece of legislation that will give literally tens of millions of americans the assurance that their taxes will not be raised, millions of small businesses that their taxes will not be raised, millions of people who through no fault of their own are struggling to find a job and try to keep bread on their table the assurance that we will be there to help. tonight, we will come together and do something else. with 37.5 hours left to go in the 112th congress, we will display to all of our constituents that yes, that in the final analysis we have the ability to come to gather, to
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act not as republicans, not as democrats, but as americans. 435 of us, sent here by our neighbors and friends to try and do the best we can, realizing there are 435 points of view. what we strive to do is to reconcile those differences to create consensus. without consensus, but democracy cannot work. there will be time for partisan differences. there will be time for partisan confrontation with in the days of the 113th congress. but this night, as we end the 112th congress, as we have strived mightily to come to an agreement with great difficulty and realizing that all of us have very strong feelings, i
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sincerely regret that this is not a big, bold, balanced plan. >> i yield 2 minutes. >> recognized an additional 2 minutes. >> i regret is not a big, bold, and balanced plan. we had an opportunity to reach such an agreement in a bipartisan fashion. and we will not reach a big, bold, and balanced plan without bipartisanship. the decisions we will have to make will be too difficult not to be done in a bipartisan fashion. but this night, we take a step, a positive step. and the people watching us, mr. speaker, on television tonight, and reading about their congress tomorrow, and seeing that we were able to act, not perfectly, but in a bipartisan fashion, to try to take a step toward fiscal
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responsibility, fiscal stability, and yes, caring for those who most need our help in this country. so i urge my colleagues, as the leader of my party in this congress urged us, to support this legislation. not as a democrat. but not as a republican. but as an american who understands that our people believe that action is necessary. i would urge all of us, as we close this debate, to do so in a way that brings us together, not drive us apart. that reaches out to the best in us, not to the partisan in us. mr. speaker, it is time for this congress to come together and address this issue and act
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together and pass this bill. i yield back the balance of my time. >> the gentleman from michigan, mr. camp. >> i yield three minutes to the distinguished gentleman from california. >> recognized. >> i think what is lost in the 30-second sound bites on the fiscal cliff is the real cliff facing this country. in the form of a massive weight of entitlement obligations. government accounting does not tell the whole story. the actual liabilities of the federal government, the present value of medicare and medicaid and social security programs, already exceed $86 trillion. by 2040, our entitlement obligations will consume all of the average postwar projected tax revenue.
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we have to come to grips with that. that means every dollar corrected -- collected by the irs will go to pay social security, medicare, or medicaid. without reforms, will have to go out and borrow should that happen. it is unfortunate that the president was not willing to engage on this front, and it is unfortunate that the senate leader continues to deny the crisis. on the day of the new year's resolutions, let's hope senator reid president obama result to be honest about the crisis and nation faces with the coming wave of entitlement obligations. making the program solvent and reining in the deficits which every economist will tell you is unsustainable. this must be done in 2013. but without the legislation before us today, without this bill, millions of americans
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would see their tax rates go up, and that would provide a systemic shock to our already weak economy. this plan that we are about to vote on locks in a reduced tax rate for middle-class families who otherwise would have seen $3,000 in higher taxes on average. it currently holds down the death tax, which impacts so many small businesses. a permanently protect the middle-class from the alternative middleminimum tax. the plan does away with a new entitlement program created in obamacare, and it makes permanent a 15% dividend rate for income up to $400,000 for singles and $450,000 for married couples, and a 20% rate for those above. that rate would have gone to
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39.6% for dividends. that would have been very injurious to our capital markets. that would be very injurious to economic growth if we allow that to happen. so tax relief has been achieved. now is the time for the president to work with congress to address government overspending, the underlying problem. and i yield back the balance of my time. >> the gentleman from michigan, mr. levin. >> are you ready to close? i will do the same. i regret the last statements. it is not correct to say that the president hais not interested in deficit reduction. that is not true. it was the republican leadership in this house that walked away from the big package. so i think it is trouble some
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that you come here, apparently saying you will vote for this bill, by launching an unfair, untrue representation of what has been going on. sellout wants to be very clear, because my guess -- so i want to be very clear, because my guess is the chairman will talk again, that there has been a permanent level of revenue set by this bill. that is not correct. if that is an effort to get votes on your side, i want the record to be clear. so i will close by reading from the president's statement of yesterday. "i want to make clear that any agreement we have to deal with these automatic spending cuts that are being threatened for next month, those also have to
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be balanced. le haser, my princip always been, let's do things in a balanced, responsible way. now, the same is true for any deficit or future deficit agreement. obviously, we are going to have to do more to reduce our debt and deficit. i am willing to do more. " he already has done substantial. but it is going to have to be balanced. we are going to have to do it in a balanced way. then he talks about the need to address medicare. >> time has expired. mr. camp. >> i yield myself such time as i may consume. >> the gentleman is recognized.
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>> you ever heard us talk about, what does the fiscal cliff mean -- i would say i agree with my friend from maryland that if we did not address this fiscal cliff issue everyevery single american will see a tax increase. and we the biggest tax increase in the history of the country. that is why it is so important we are here tonight acting in a permanent way, and i would say to my friend from michigan, it is correct, this is a permanent tax policy. these are permanent tax provisions we're putting in this bill. that permanently set the baseline. that permanently set how much money the government can take out of the economy. now, because of this, this is the largest tax cut in american history. i think that is helpful because the best way to grow our economy and get out of the debt and deficit -- it is to grow our economy. we can do this through comprehensive than fundamental tax reform. this is just the first step.
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getting to the ability to strengthen our economy, create the jobs we so badly need. we have that years of anemic economic growth. we have projected anemic economic growth in 2013. it is so important we try to create jobs and grow the economy. we can do that through comprehensive pro-growth tax reform that lowers rates, broadens the base, and simplifies the tax code that is far too complex. as i said with in my opening statement, the tax code is a nightmare, and it is getting almost enough to have a nightmare ourselves, but let me just say that we not only to grow the economy but also need to address the fundamental causes of our debt and deficit. that is out of control spending, obligations we have not got in the financial wherewithal to meet. we need to strengthen this programs and make sure they are sustainable for the long term, but we also need to address the problem of out of control spending. this is the first-ever --
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permanent tax policy that then sets the stage for comprehensive and fundamental tax reform and then addressing out of control spending. this will be several steps. this is an important one. this is a critical one for the future of our country and i urge 8 yes vote. >> the house passed the senate version of the fiscal cliff bill. the measure delays spending cuts and eliminates tax increases for most americans. shortly after the vote, president obama spoke about the passage of the measure at the white house. his remarks are about seven minutes. >> a central premise of my campaign for president has been to change the tax code that was too skewed toward the wealthy at the expense of working middle- class families. tonight, we have done that. thanks to the votes of republicans and democrats in congress, i will sign a law that raises taxes on the wealthiest
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25 of americans -- 2% of americans will preventing a tax hike that will put america back into recession and has a severe impact on families across america. i want to thank all the leaders of the house and senate. in particular, i want to thank the work that was done by my extraordinary vice president, joe biden, as well as the leader, harry reid, speaker boehner, nancy pelosi, and mitch mcconnell. everybody worked hard on this, and i appreciate it. once again, thank you for your great work. under this law, more than smalle income taxes go up. millions of family will receive tax credits to raise their kids and send them to college. companies will receive tax credits for research they do, investments they make, and clean energy jobs they create.
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2 million americans were out of work. they are going to continue to receive unemployment benefits as long as they are actively looking for a job, but i think we all recognize this lot is just one step in the broader effort to strengthen our economy. the deficit is too high, and we are investing too little for the things we need for the economy to grow as fast as it should. that is why speaker dinner and i tried to negotiate a larger agreement the -- speaker boehner and i tried to negotiate a larger agreement. unfortunately, there was not enough support or time for that kind of a larger agreement in a
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lame-duck session of congress. that comes with a cost. the last couple weeks have made business more uncertain, and consumers lost confidence, but we are continuing to chip away at the problem step by step. last year i signed into law 1.7 trillion dollars in deficit reduction. tonight further reduces the deficit by raising $600 billion in revenue from the wealthiest households. there will be more deficit reduction as congress decides what to do with the spending cuts. i am very open to compromise. i agree with democrats and republicans of the aging population and rising cost of health care makes medicare the biggest increase of our deficit.
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i believe there is further unnecessary spending we can eliminate, but we cannot simply cut our way to spending. we have to make it so wealthiest americans do not take advantage of loopholes, and we cannot keep cutting things like basic research and technology and skill and 36 still expect to succeed, -- and still expect to succeed. we are going to continue to move forward, but in a balanced way to make sure we are growing even as we get a handle on our spending. one last point i want to make. while i will negotiate on many things, i will not have another debate with this congress over
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whether or not they should pay the bills they have already racked up through the laws as they have passed. -- through the laws they have passed. congress refuses to give the united states government the ability to pay these bills on time. people will remember in 2011 the last time this course of action was threatened, our entire recovery was put at risk. business investment plunged. growth dropped. we cannot go down that path. signed intoement place something we agree with. everyone pays their fair share. everyone does their part.
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that is how our economy works best. that is how we grow. the sum total of the budget agreement we have reached so far proves there is a path forward, that it is possible as we focus not on politics of what is right for the country. one thing hopefully we will focus on is if we can put a package like this together with a little less drama and a little less print and ship -- brinkmanship to not scare people so much. we can come together and cut spending in a way that protects our middle class, provides ladders into the middle class for everybody willing to work hard. we can find a way to make investments.
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we can protect our planet from harmful effects of climate change, boosting domestic energy production, protecting our kids from the horrors of gun violence. i look forward to working with every single member of congress to meet this obligation in the new year, and i hope everybody gets a day off or at least a few days off, because we are going to have a lot of work to do in 2013. thanks, everyone. happy new year. >> the house voted 257 to 167 to avert the so-called fiscal cliff. before the vote we spoke to some people on capitol hill about the
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measure. >> we are about four blocks from the u.s. capitol right now. we are talking with sarah. have you been following what is happening on capitol hill, and what did you think? >> i have been following it a bit. it makes me quite depressed, not just because congress is gridlock as usual, but it seems both sides do not have a clear idea of what they want. there is no deal that could satisfy each faction on each side, and because of that, we are getting nowhere, and congress is probably in a couple of days going to figure it out or in a couple weeks and retroactively fix things so no harm is done, but in terms of coming together i was hoping would happen, very disappointing. >> how about personally? is there anything in the bill or anything they are working on
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that is affecting you right now? >> affected me, not too much. i work in the service industry. i do not have a lot of debt. i am a young person. not a lot of consequences for me. there are a lot of things. some of the spending cuts worry me, because they do not have a lot of revenue increases behind them or at least one members of congress are backing. i am worried when we do figure something out, the bush tax cuts or maybe new tax cuts that are similar are going to say essentially the same. back in the 2010 debates, i was of the side that wanted taxes to be increased on those earning more than $250,000, and i have a feeling that is not going to happen this time around, although i would be ok with
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taxes on people 250,000 and of increasing along with taxes on the middle class, but on the lower income bracket i think they should stay the same or be lowered, but i do not think any of those are going to happen. >> we are talking to paul, who has just gotten back into town. what do you think about the fiscal debate that has just happened on capitol hill about a quarter of a mile from where we are now? >> my first impression is the republican house is being uncompromising in its use. i think the left of the democratic party in -- in its views. i think the left of the democratic party was willing to do a lot to compromise, and i think the republicans and the house should take the cue from those folks. there seems to be an iconoclastic view of politics prevents compromise, and i
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think that is evidenced by house republicans. >> what is on your political wish list for 2013? >> now that taxes have been addressed, we should tackle spending. both have to be equally addressed, and it is clear the senate bill does not address spending cuts, and as a democrat, i can say i think that has been too long ignored and needs to be addressed as well. my hope would be for some return to a sense of stability and compromise on the hill. i think we have got to a historical point where it has reached its nadir, and it is time to take a look at cooperation. >> before the house adjourned, a number of members came to the floor, urging the speaker to bring up by hurricane sandy release package. this is 35 minutes.
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i have just been informed we will have no more relief. we have millions of citizens who badly damaged by a storm called sandeep. -- sandy. cannot remember a time we had a serious storm, tornado, fire, flood where we did not act. this congress is apparently leaving town without responding to that emergency. there is not one of us, not one of us in this congress that could not be in the same
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position. i live in a coastal state, but whether you live in the midwest or the far west, whether you live in the south, the east, the north, or the west, you could be or your citizens could be or your neighbors could be confronted by a natural disaster or a man-made disaster, and our fellow citizens would expect us to respond as the united states senate has responded. it is my belief an assurance was given to me, and the gentle man who gave it to me and who did not make the decision, but i am deeply disappointed, and the people who have been damaged by sandy should be deeply
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angry thisd and congress would adjourn without the pain of the people. i have walked the beaches. i have seen the homes that have been destroyed. i have talked to other members of congress, all of whom have had their citizens deeply damaged by the ravages of the storm of historical proportions but struck the northeast. none of us is immune, not by a tornado or flood or fire.
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i deeply regret i cannot change this opinion, but it is not what we ought to be doing. there are republicans who were deeply grieved by this action, and there were democrats deeply grieved by this action. this is not the right thing to do. i would hope it would be reconsidered. we have asked our members to stay here, everyone of them, knowing full well they wanted to go home just for a day to see their families. i would hope this decision would be reconsidered. i would hope we would say to those citizens, we are here for you, one country, one nation. >> i yield the balance of my
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time. >> for what purpose does the gentleman from new york not seek recognition? does the gentleman seek unanimous consent? the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> the gentleman from maryland said what had to be said, but i want to add, i have been in this house 20 years. we have seen droughts. we have seen storms. we have seen earthquakes. this congress has never failed to vote emergency preparations. hurricane sandy stock on october 29, eight or nine weeks ago -- struck on october 29, eight or nine weeks ago. it is under unprecedented it should take so long ago. yet we are going to do nothing.
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it is unprecedented. is disgusting. i can understand those who say it is too much. we should debate it, but to ignore it, to ignore the plight of millions of american citizens, unprecedented, disgusting, and worthy of the leadership of this house, they should -- on worthy -- unworthy of the leadership of the house, they should hang their heads in shame. >> the gentleman is recognized. >> let me when my voice to those who spoke. my district was devastated by the storm. i have thousands of people living in temporary circumstances. i have municipalities that have extended millions of dollars in trying to do cleanup, and the
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fact is if we do not take action to night and we let the house adjourn without taking action on the supplemental who for the hurricane, we will suffer a great deal. many of the towns are waiting for the money to come through to provide funding for municipal services, for emergency services. many are completely broke up this time in terms of being able to provide help for their residents. this is a serious matter. this need is immediate. this cannot wait until next week or next month. there is no way this can happen without a tremendous negative impact on the residents of my district, so i implore the speaker, please reconsider this decision. it is not possible to continue without some relief from the federal government. i yield back. >> for what purpose does the gentleman from new york seek
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recommend -- recognition? >> i stand up to join my colleagues on the other side of the aisle and associate my words with the gentleman from maryland. even though my district was not impacted by the devastation of hurricane sandy, it is right and just we take up this bill, and i urge you to reconsider his decision -- this decision, and i join my colleagues to ask for relief so we can get to the people that need it the aid they are in need of. >> for what purpose does the gentleman of new york seek recognition? the gentleman is recognized. >> let me join my colleagues in my sadness we are here at 11:30 on the first of january with time running out. we just had a historic
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bipartisan vote, something people did not in they could do -- did not think they could do, and we are letting this slip away. when people's homes have been destroyed, when tens of thousands of people who have suffered over nine weeks have nothing to show for it from this congress, that we would walk away without doing our part to help the people suffering in new york, in new jersey, connecticut, pennsylvania, and other parts of the country is outrageous. it is simply outrageous. we have done our part. we have worked with our colleagues. i thank them for working with us, but it got us no avail. we needed to work to get this done for our constituency, and it has failed. please reconsider and bring this bill to the floor before we
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leave this congress. >> for what purpose does the gentleman from new york seek recognition? the gentleman is recognized. >> tonight's action not to hold this vote on the supplemental is indefensible. there are thousands of people throughout long island, s.i., throughout the northeast who are homeless tonight, who have lost their homes and businesses. this is indefensible. every documentation that was required by the leadership of this house was provided by governor cuomo, gov. christie, mayor bloomberg. everybody played by the rules except tonight when the rug was pulled out from under us. the people who are out of their homes, the people who are cold, the people who lost their jobs, they do not have the time to wait.
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we have responsibilities. >> the gentleman is recognized. >> i am sitting here in shock. there are americans suffering because of an act of nature. it is our obligation as americans to make sure we come to the aid of americans, and that is why on this issue democrats and republicans have come together in any kind of crisis. when it comes to natural disasters, we have always come together. how can we return -- how can we
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turn our backs on americans staminat? we cannot turn our backs on our citizens who need us, some who will not have a place to stay for a long time, people who suffer, people who need food. we are americans. i am shocked. mr. speaker, you have to reconsider. >> for what purpose does the gentleman from new york seek recognition? the gentleman is recognized. >> i have been a member of this body for 24 years, and i do not think i have ever been as angry as i was tonight. this is unconscionable. when i said president truman campaigned against a do nothing congress, and that congress pass three times as many bills as this and do nothing congress, and isn't it a fitting way to end by doing nothing to help the
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plight of millions of people suffering in all of our districts? this is an absolute disgrace, and the speaker should hang his head in shame for not allowing this to come up. this is not a republican or democratic issue. it is an american issue. i have voted for aid for katrina, and for us to be treated this way, is unconscionable. i would ask the speaker to reconsider, and i will tell you i have never been angrier than i am right now. i am usually proud of this house. now i am ashamed. shame on you, mr. speaker. >> the gentle man who is recognized for one minute. >> thank you, mr. speaker. i want to add my voice to those who have spoken tonight. we need to be here for all those
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in need affected by hurricane sandy. i come from upstate new york, and this is a bipartisan effort. i want to thank those who helped my district. there were heartbreaking losses across the region, and this body came together so we could begin the road to recovery. we need to be there for all the american people who need help after storms, and we need to come together, ask the speaker to reconsider to have this aid, so we can help our country get back on track, and with that i yield. >> with what purpose does the gentleman from new jersey seek recognition? the gentleman is recognized. >> i represent the northeastern part of the state of new jersey. millions of new jersey and, millions of folks in new york and connecticut suffered
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devastating damage from a natural disaster, and i, too, have voted time after time for relief for natural disasters, and i urge the speaker to reconsider this unconscionable, inexplicable refusal to let us vote on disaster relief for the millions who are still suffering in new york, new jersey, and connecticut. we provide lots of revenue for the united states of america. we are a donor states for the states that get a lot more federal aid and we are given, and not a question for the american people is why is the speaker of the house doing this? what is going on in his mind that would say we are not going to allow a discussion and a vote on aid that will address $60 billion worth of damages to tens
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of millions of american citizens in the northeast? >> the gentleman's time has expired. what purpose does the gentleman from louisiana seek recognition? the gentleman is recognized. >> mr. speaker, i am from new orleans. we were not affected by sandy, but we were great beneficiaries of this body coming together to help us in a time of our greatest need, and this is appalling we will not come together when there are so many americans in need. one of the mottoes is no less -- no man left behind. you are leaving millions of mothers and fathers and children behind in the cold, and as we take one step closer to financial solvency and avoided financial bankruptcy today, we took a humongous wheat towards
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moral bankruptcy. -- leap towards moral bankruptcy. this house cannot justify the actions we have taken are right, that they follow in the motto of this great country. today is a shameful day. the fact we are not addressing the needs of the victims is not just shameful. it is sinful, and i yield back. >> what purpose does the gentleman from new jersey seek recognition? the gentleman is recognized. >> i join my colleagues in asking the speaker reconsider. i want to thank erick kanter, who has worked tirelessly until the last couple minutes. businesses are in shambles, and municipalities have been devastated. 346,000 units were damaged or destroyed in new jersey with 22,000 units today uninhabitable.
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approximately 100,000 new a storm-related unemployment claims have been filed in new jersey. 235,000 people have already ow registered with the route for assistance. people are hurting. i have talked to people in my district, and they are looking to us for help. we need to pass this. please reconsider. >> for what purpose does the gentle lady from new york seek recognition amont? the gentle lady is recognized. >> i left the floor with the understanding this bill was going to be brought to the floor. one of congress' cost basic responsibilities was to help families recover -- one of congress's basic responsibilities was to help families recover, yet congress
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refused to help families of much as we know we can. we can pass this bill with bipartisan support, yet the republicans allow this bill to be buried and make sure the people of our communities not get the help they need. disaster knows no boundaries. this body has acted with speed to help people in disaster after disaster. this function should not result in punishing the incomes of sandy in new york, connecticut, and pennsylvania. i urge the body to reconsider the decision to not put a supplemental on the floor, and i want to thank our leader and all those who have been advocating for sandy. we need to do this, and we need
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to do it before we adjourn. >> for what purpose does the gentleman from new york seek recognition? the gentleman is recognized. >> it is with an extremely heavy heart that i stand here almost in disbelief and somewhat ashamed that i need to take to this floor, when i am thinking of friends and family and neighbors who have lost more than their homes, more than their possessions, more than the businesses they have worked for their entire lives. they have lost family members, and i have to go home and tell them their new year's gift is they have to wait even longer for something they should have had over a month ago. it is inexcusable. i am here tonight saying to
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myself for the first time i am not proud of the decision my team has made. it was the wrong decision going to ask the speaker reconsider his decision, because it is not about politics. it is about human lives and dignity, and i pray he understands that. thank you, and i yield back. >> for what purpose does the gentleman from new york seek recognition? does the gentleman seek unanimous consent? the gentleman is recognized. >> i know there are many people watching us this night that do not believe the house of representatives can turn their back on any americans in any part of this great nation, but
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mr. speaker, maybe you can help us by reminding people we have a switchboard down here. they may not be able to do anything, because the leadership just walked away without the courtesy of saying they did not have time to deal with the millions of people whose lives have been affected. maybe you could remind americans that maybe they should call and ask congress and ask the speaker to please reconsider. we have to be here tomorrow. we were told to be here tomorrow. what ever happened to make someone angry tonight, people are suffering as a result of this disaster. they are not responsible. do not make them pay for it. >> for what purpose does the
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gentleman from pennsylvania seat recognition? the gentleman is recognized. >> i rise not as a person from the state directly affected, because my states, while impacted, it was nowhere near the devastation i sought in new york and new jersey, parts of connecticut. i was in new york a week ago in an elevator and man-to-man -- met a man telling me how happy he was he finally had a chance to get out of the pickup truck he had been sleeping in since the storm. he was hoping for the first time to get back to his home. this is just one of hundreds of thousands of stories in the devastated region. we have stepped up for our neighbors and other parts of the country because these acts of nature are larger than any individual. we must be larger than that and
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support the ability to give that support to those in need. >> for what purpose does the gentle lady from california seek recognition? the gentle lady is recognized. >> mr. speaker, if you have ever had a natural disaster affect your area, of or if you have ever visited a natural disaster, be it california or on the east coast or the midwest or iowa with the floods or missouri in recent times, and listen to the pain in the voices and saw the fright in the eyes of the people affected, you would wonder why we are not bringing this legislation to the floor, because it is not about a natural disaster. it is about human experience.
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when i was a new member of congress in the late 1980's, we were affected by an earthquake. i bring that up because the very next day after the earthquake the chairman of the appropriations committee came to the floor of the house without anyone going to him or asking, went to the floor of the house and said to the people of california, congress will honor our responsibility to the american people. we will put forth what makes the needs of the people. we need to work together to get that done. it was such a comfort. these were just words. it was such a comfort to the people to hear that and know that the chairman would act upon that, and for the past few weeks i know our colleagues in new york, new jersey, connecticut, some in
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pennsylvania and other surrounding areas have been assuring their constituents and the people of their areas the federal government would be for them region would be there for them. -- the people of their area would be for them. it is the most important type. if you hear their personal stories, they will never be made full. the rug has been pulled out from under them in terms of their housing, their belongings, their memories, and tonight is this house of representatives going to pull the rug out from them legislatively just to remind the senate of the united states in a bipartisan way and assistance program for this natural disaster? it met the documented need to
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put forth by the people of the region, by gov. christie, by mayor bloomberg and so many others, so documented need. it is not going to make everyone whole emotionally and their personal belongings and memories and the rest, but it is a sign of respect that we cannot andwhat happened sta andnd then resources will be there to try to restore them to some sense of order and home life, so i do not know if any decision has been made. i hope not. i hope as the leadership meets and considers a possible agenda for tomorrow they would reconsider this, because this
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goes deep into the hearts of people as they feel a sense of helplessness for something they have no responsibility for, and natural disaster. i remember last year when we visited some of the places where homeless were uprooted. it is earth, wind, and fire. when something like that happens, it is the wind, the fire, everything assaulting people. let's not be part of that assault by putting doubts in their mind as to whether there is an appreciation for what they have lost, our respect for what they are, and honoring of our social compact -- contract the government will be there when people are in need. we never had a moment of fear. -- a moment of fear that our needs would be met. let's replace the impression
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that is out there with the idea that tomorrow we will take up the senate bill or take up the compromise that has been worked out to take this, but we cannot leave here doing nothing. that would be a disgrace. i yield back my time. >> for what purpose does the gentleman from pennsylvania seek recognition? the gentleman is recognized. >> mr. speaker, i am proud to stand with my colleagues from both sides of the aisle to urge action on this issue. over the past two years i have often been frustrated by the actions of the senate or the inactions of the senate, where we would send bill over bill over there, and not that they would vote it down but they would just not vote. they did not want the will of the people to be expressed by a
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vote being taken. if we renew congress without voting on this, we are denying the will of the people to be addressed, because i would contend the will of the people, one thing they are confident spending their money on is helping fellow americans. there is great need in new jersey and elsewhere, and we need to stay together, and i hope we will come to the decision is never too late to do the right thing, and that is to allow the will of the people to be expressed, to let this issue be voted and let the members expressed their opinion through these boats, and it is the case if that happens -- through the votes, and if that is the case they will be able to send aid to people in need. >> the gentleman from new jersey is recognized. >> thank you, mr. speaker.
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i am very dismayed by what i have heard tonight, that we would allow citizens in this nation, like any of us who would think at a time of natural disaster they could depend on their congress, and their nation, the people of their country. many times we have come to the aid of citizens throughout this nation. why not now? what is different now? new york, new jersey, and connecticut, parts of pennsylvania have been devastated. my district not as much, but we still have issues that need to be addressed. just the other day i was on vacation with my children. i got a call, and there was a
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leak from the roof. i did not realize there was a patch of my roof missing from sandeep. i had the wherewithal to take care of it, but there are hundreds of thousands of residents from those states that need our help. i was told by a member of this body who was laid to rest this year that this was a great body to certain -- to serve in. please let me know he was telling the truth. >> for what purpose does the gentleman from pennsylvania seek recognition mnemon? the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> my congressional district is
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near new jersey. tens of thousands have been without power. for all the new jersey and new york license plates, we were sheltering many evacuees looking and nownds and familiy in a place they could be comfortable. i think it would be wise to reconsider the decision to adjourn the house. i am not convinced this adequately addresses some of the concerns we have in pennsylvania, but i am willing to work with everybody to make it right, but having witnessed what happened to our friends in new jersey and new york, i think it is imperative we address this issue. all of us have places we would like to be right now. it is important when our friends are struggling and suffering. i think we need to get to work on it. >> for what purpose does the gentleman from new jersey seeking recognition? without objection, the gentleman is recognized.
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>> one out of many, we help each other. we always have. my district and many are around who were badly affected by one of the largest storms, one of the most expensive storms, one of the worst storms of history. there are thousands of people that are not going back to their homes. they deserve our help. i wish i could speak as articulately and in such a measured manner as our leaders. some weeks ago someone said to me, you are not going to get help in the house of representatives, because these are blue states. they voted for a democrat for president. i would like to think, and mr. king and mr. smith and gov. christie would like to think
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this is not a partisan matter, but i have to wonder what could be going on here. why would we not help each other as this house has always done? >> the gentleman time is expired. are there any other requests for one minute speeches? what purpose does the gentleman from california wish to speak? the gentleman from california is recognized for one minute. >> i apologize for changing the subject, but this will be the last chance i will be able to address the house. six and half years ago i had the privilege of coming to the house and standing in a special election. i would like to paris fries -- to paraphrase what i said then. i come from a classic coastal
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community, and having been out of congress for five years a return me to the house, -- they return me to the house. i was just asked -- i would just ask both sides understand what privilege it is to represent the 50th, but i hear one of the major issues you are going to address is the issue of immigration, and those of us in california understand that. i would ask the one place democrats and republicans should be able to agree on is when are we going to stop the practice of people committing a crime by employing illegal immigrants, take the tax deduction away, and require if the business wants to claim a business deduction for employing someone that we make sure they are legal. i am going to miss a lot of places in washington, but let me assure you, i will not miss the
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weather. god bless and thank you. but the gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman seek recognition? >> i move that the house adjourn. >> those in favor say aye. those in favor, no. >> no. >> in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it. the house stands adjourned until 10:00 a.m. tomorrow for morning debate. >> mr. speaker? >> a couple of members of congress will join us on washington journal to talk about passage of the fiscal cliff bill. democratic congressman of oregon will give us an update of last night's house vote that would prevent taxes going up for
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people earning $400,000 a year. the republican representative of south carolina who will answer questions about what is next in negotiations. also the executive editor will join us to discuss what the world will be like in 2063 and beyond. every morning at 7:00 a.m. eastern on c-span. >> are primarily watch the house and the senate. i used to work in the senate. i flipped over there, especially if there is something important going on. c-span is summer you can find something going on that is not otherwise covered. -- some where you can find something going on if there is nothing otherwise covered. >> c-span, created by america's
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cable companies in 1979, brought to you as a public service by your cable provider. the u.s. capitol historical society hosted a discussion last month of stability in congress. among those we will hear from the former senator trent lott and robert livingston. now this is an hour and a half. >> thank you for being here. i apologize for the traffic, but i will take credit for the weather. we are here at the national heritage to lecture, which was
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established in 1991 by the u.s. capitol historical society, the white house historical association and the supreme court historical society. let me introduce myself, because i have not done that. i am the president and ceo of historical society and a former congressman from connecticut. we are going to talk about congress tonight. each of the heritage lectures is the responsibility of the organization that takes it on for that year, so every third year it is our responsibility to put on our heritage and lecture, and we are pleased to be in the hall of flags. it is a great venue and a great historical building. the heritage lecture explores one of the three branches of the national government and the momentous events and personality
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associated with its history. i would like to acknowledge a couple of the people here. the executive director of the historical society and the vice president of education and scholarship programs on behalf of the white house for neil horsemen, who is there president but could not be here tonight. the u.s. capital historical society is pleased to present this lecture, and as the society and reflect on its last 50 years we are also reflected on the last 50 years of congress, not that we have people who served all of the last 50 years, but the title is comedy and contention in congress, 1962 to 2012, so hopefully when we get in our discussions, we will have a lively behind the scene
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perspective of the changes in continuity of congress over the last five decades. do you all have a program with the bios -- you all have a program with the bios of people on stage, but i would like to tell you something that is not in the program. i begin with our moderator, and i am very proud to say market is a member of the board of trustees of the u.s. capitol historical society, a new member of the board, and he joins people like and roberts, -- like roberts and nick baker, among others who serve on our board. there are interesting comments when we have board meetings. the senators started service in 1972. when trent lott and i came into service we were in the same class. at the time of his election he
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was 28 years old. he was the youngest member of congress. he has grown up on the job and shape congress along the way. amazingly, he still looks 28. congresswoman beverly byron comes from a spirited family. not only did her husband served in congress, but both of her in- laws also served in the house, although beverly has the distinction of the longest service in the united states house of representatives, and i think there was another individual, wasn't there? a grandparent of one of them now? who served in the senate? >> a federal judge. >> what a distinguished history. congressman bill gray was a pioneer in congress and has continued his commitment to public service after leaving
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congress. he was an active baptist minister, spending 35 years as the pastor of the baptist church. for 13 years he was president and ceo of the united negro college fund. he has been honored with nearly 80 degrees from the prestigious universities for public service. congressman bob livingston comes from a number of -- and another of the wonderful historic congressional families. three of his ancestors served in the continental congress. livingston served as a federalist in the eighth of not -- eighth and the ninth congress. edward livingston served in the andth and sixth congress'es then served in the senate as a member of the jacksonian party. senator trent lott, the always
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eloquent and with the senator, is a best-selling author. his memoirs i recommend highly for an insider's look at congress, and another little- known fact is that he was a cheerleader at the university of mississippi. i am pleased to turn the floor over to mark shields. mark, please take it away. >> things for that great commentary on each of our distinguished panelists. as king henry viii said to each of his six wives, i will not keep you long. my job is to cull the wisdom on this stage tonight. i will just make two quick comments about the campaign that was finished, and it was a long
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campaign, and essentially humorless campaign. neither mr. romney nor mr. obama is a man given to self- deprecating lines, and perhaps the funniest guy turned out to be rick perry of taxes, who was there briefly, but rick perry stood up one night and told a group of us it was a strange feeling to stand next to mitt romney in each of those debates. he kept expecting mitt romney to lean over him and say, and you have any gray poupon. i like mitt romney as much as one good-looking guy can like another good looking guy and not be in violation of a texas state law. it was a marathon, and like most states marathons, the guy from
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kenya won. we have all heard the theories on what has happened in congress. it is not as productive as it was when the people on this stage served, but there are a couple of promises as to why. one is the polarization of politics. politics is more polarized. if you want liberal you can turn on msnbc. if you are conservative you can go to fox. olympia snowe was more conservative than the most conservative democrat. we have seen all of this change. the thing that hits me is people on the hill do not know each other anymore.
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there was a time when you have friends on either side of the aisle, when they drove back and forth from chicago on weekends together, and somebody suggested a jet plane and travel allowance for members has made no place left for som level because people do not bring their families and where did have made the place less -- travel allowance for members has made the place less personable, because people do not bring their families. do any of those reasons matter to what has happened for the last 50 years? >> i think it is a big part of it. we lived across the street from each other. our kids grew up together. my wife is godmother to one of his daughters. we were friends. when we try to find a common ground on budget or taxes, and i
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knew i could at least talk to john and get a straight answer. what he did to me a lot of times when we were, he would get a libya's note to team up with him, and then i would not have the votes to pass it, and i would have to cut the 2001 tax cuts by about $350 billion, but i thought it was worse happening. we have talked a lot about it. times are different. when i first came to washington in 1968, one of the things they would do on thursday nights, they would played gin rummy in the capital. my job was to pour cheap bourbon and light cigars, and it included john mccormack, a republican from california.
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there was a camaraderie, and john has made a point when you have dinner with somebody or you are friends with somebody, you are a lot less inclined to cut their throats politically the next day. there are other things. it is the news media. -- it is the 24/7 news room. the senate doesn't three weeks on and one week off. you cannot legislate like that. i have done a lot of things people thought was comedy.
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that has brought down the price of par de significantly. of part d significantly.
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maybe you can take the anthem plan and the humana plan. but the significance is that you can walk the next year. and your ability to walk from one plan to another plan motivates me to deliver an experience as best i can at a price that is the most cost- effective. that motivates the early years and our organization to be innovative, to be able to bring joint ventures like wal-mart out. we just brought out a plan with healthy food. if you go into wal-mart and you're a human a member, you get a discount when buying healthy food. is sponsored by jimenez. this gets back to our belief that we want to take care of --
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humana.ponsored by q man this gets back to our belief that we want to take care of your help. >> i like your idea of personal responsibility. you mentioned it at the beginning of your talk about fix the budget. aside from all of us having to pay more taxes and staying in shape, i would like you to expand on the idea of what individuals can do to be personally responsible to fix the debt. >> there is a short-term aspect and long term aspect. in the short term, will have to fix it because we have postponed this so long and i think it will be a blend of tax and entitlement changes. for the individual today, speak
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to the boys. that is the best thing we can do today. if we don't, this will come down and fall on us as a country and we will have worse consequences. in the long run, for us to be effective, we have to get control over the entitlement program. that doesn't mean that we take in settlements with from people. we make it much more productive. our goal is to take that responsibility on by lowering the cost of health care through innovative ways. that pushes risks from one section to another. but during healthy food out and bring down prices to part d. where we can begin to affect the cost of care in that way. as i mentioned, in the health care today, which is our
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vocation, there is $750 billion of waste a year. can you imagine what $750 billion, if we were able to put that back in the system, would do for our budget? for me, those are the things that we're looking for the federal government to incentivize people to take responsibility. individuals, speak your mind. long term, it will impact on the productivity of the entitlement programs. >> the affordable care at has some features in it like comfortable care organizations. can you talk about how those work and how they fit with some of the things that he manhumanas
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doing? >> i talked about the demonstration aspects going on. the federal government identifies the problem of fragmentation in the pay-for- service aspect being the problem child in our health care delivery service. so how do we take care of the fragmented industry? integrated care is what they are focused on, where they pay some a fixed payment and that individual takes the responsibility for someone's health care. that sounds very familiar to medicare advantage. so when we look at medicare advantage and you look at him and the -- at humana able to guide individuals in the journey of the fragmented industry, that is medicare advantage. that is where we are big believers in that aspect.
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if the industry would get behind it, it will help with the cost of health care and wrangle that $750 billion out of the industry as a whole. but there is a lot of coordination that needs to be required. and there are a lot of egos the need to be put down to decide who is at the front of the bus driving and who is on the bus riding. that is where you start to see the political issues that take place from hospital system to hospital system, physician to physician, etc., in being able to bring alive. we're big proponents of that idea and we want to be enablers in making that happen. the challenge will be the political affairs and how that happened and how it gets off the ground. today, we think the medicare advantage program is a great example of that. as time progresses, we will take the skills and help other
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organizations be able to do that. and we're doing that today. and fact, we have a number of relationships in local markets where we're able to facilitate born -- the back backbone of the organization. >> when you're talking about $750 billion of waste in the system, for you including medicare waste? >> yes. >> how much of that is medicare? >> medicare is about 40% or 50% of the health care expense. so there's probably a lot more ways in medicare than there is in commercial because the policing of it is much harder than a commercial book of business. >> 40% of $750 billion -- >> minimum. >> what is being done about it and which should be done?
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and as your organization proposed anything to be done to eliminate waste and medicare? because if you don't tackle that, you can talk forever about the other aspects of waste. fle>> i thought about humanacar. our objective is to keep people at home in an environment that they feel most comfortable with as opposed to an institution. so we measure in our organization these measurements. readmission rates.
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the goal is to lead people stay home and let them take care at home. the ability to not have duplicated diagnostic services is an example of that. and so one overlooking the whole individual has that observation as opposed to the pylons. >> the medicare, for a second, where is that waste and what have you seen as an organization the waste being? and how would you suggest that that be tackled? >> the waste is across the platform. this week, there was an article about fraud and some of the activities going on in that area. fraud is a component of that. but for us, as an organization, the largest waste is the lack of integrated care. what that means is duplication of services where people are in
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the wrong aspect of that. you shake your head so i must not be answering your question. >> thank you for a talk the demonstrates something that i find very encouraging about this affordable care acts that we're now beginning to embrace. it is exactly the tremendous focus on how it plays out in the marketplace. humana is setting itself up as a model player in a complex game that involves a lot of bargaining, lots of incentives, rewarding. but i am struck looking back at the last election and the , thatsion of obama'scacare it seem to get a bad rap as a
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government takeover. it seems like the opposite, an effort to make the private marketplace function better, with better rules. i would like to hear from you if you agree that it is in fact a market-centered effort and not a government takeover. >> -that, at the higher -- where the dollars will be spent, on the insurance side, there will be a higher cost. more people will be covered. but it will be costing the american individual more dollars because of the risk profile is changing. we probably will not be as active in the individual exchange market as others will be. but you will see an increase in that regard. the reason why i say that is that it did not come out in the
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health care reform debate and a lot of knowledgeable people in the back, raising that. -- in the back room are raising that. i think where the reform helps is in the demonstration areas. you do not see a lot of that coming out today. they really encourage electronic connectivity through bringing electronic medical records to the provider. and they encourage a holistic view of the individual under this thing called the accountable care organization and those things. we think long term those things will have an impact. they are in the raids the code. so when you look at it from a taxpayer point of view, in the short run, looking for what will it affect from the cost point of view from the dollars that are being pushed around in the
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industry, long term, i think there will be a lot of benefits from the electronic one of you and from the structural point of view because we will learn a lot from that aspect. so there is a short-term view and a long-term view. and the funding that will be required for it. >> i would like you to comment on the exchanges. they seem to be somewhat controversial. i believe that our governor said not now. if he continues that position, that would lead to a federal exchange program. what is your man -- which human approach? humana's >> the state is probably the better way to do it. it is the more appropriate way to get care localized. it causes more complications for
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individuals like myself because now i have 50 customers as opposed to one customer. but it is better for it care model point of view. it is not in national business and it cannot be exported. he is a local business. so the preferences that the state level. our perspective on exchange is that we have of [indiscernible] and i think that is what your governor has the perspective on, to learn about it before you jump right in. the reason being that there are so many moving parts happening here. the pricing model is changing because you have a ratio that you have to [indiscernible] in addition, you will bring a lot of people on a traditionally had not been insured and you don't know what they're health conditions are -- what their
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health conditions are and what that will mean. we have a philosophy of let's take baby steps before we jump in. i think that is where your governor is fact. at.is tha >> there is the delicate issue disproportionate health care. given the dubious nature of the outcomes, which is humana's positions. >> i may have bread thrown at me. thank you matt of the cancer health care business. -- i came out of the cancer health care business. and of life was a very big aspect. --end of life was a very vigorous fight.
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it is best spent any time of non-treatment. it is a tough decision because people don't want to give up that hope and promise and doctors are not paid to give up or they're not trained to give up. and that discussion is a very hard discussion to have. but it is something that will never come from society. i think, over time, having hospitals being part of the treatment plant is an important part of that. in our organization, we never encourage that because it is the right of the physician and the right of the family members in that regard. we do encourage them to deal with those tough issues in an educated way. i think that is where we look at our responsibility, which is to help them navigate that decision.
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it is a personal decision and a hard decision and let that decision be with the farmers and the provider. there are some circumstances the not very promising. so you take it from a cost discussion to a quality of life discussion. and you can make the quality of life decision which will bear out the cost discussion. >> the cost of integrated care is what will lead to the efficiencies to eliminate waste and bring down the cost of the entire health care system. the devil is in the details. who will be making these decisions as to whether care is provided or not? we all remember it was not so long ago that, thank you to our insurance companies, we had to
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go to its primary care doctor to get permission to go to a specialist. is it a primary-care doctor? is it the insurance company? and who makes the financial decision? that is really what will drive the whole thing. >> great question. our perspective is the position is that the center of health care. we believe that the position, along with the relationship with the individual, is where that decision is made. we don't believe it is the hospital. we don't believe it is the payer. we believe it is the position who makes that decision with the individual. we do have a bias to primary care because we believe the primary care is the overall aspect to this and consulting with specialists and having specialists by their side.
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primary care has a more holistic view of the care model. but specialists are very important. when used in a and corporate -- when used in an appropriate way. the commercial side is an important part. when you think of health care today, the individual paying the bill and the individual providing the service and the individual who is receiving the service are three different groups of people. and they have three different interests in mind. and they are not always aligned. our belief is aligning the interests together, but having more empowerment by individuals in their financial participation in it, in having the position more incentivized around quality
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and cost, not just around doing individual units of work. we look at primary care as an important part. would they -- we believe payers and so one should be in the background. and we think a more closer connection between quality and costs and reimbursements is important. [applause] >> today, at the city club of cleveland, we have been listening to friday for a featuring members brassard. thank you, ladies and gentlemen. this form is now adjourned. thank you. >> a couple of members of
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congress will join tomorrow morning's "washington journal" to talk about the fiscal cliff. with the legislation, postponing automatic spending cuts for two months, rep mick molding will answer your questions about what is next in the -- representativ mick mulvaney will answer your questions about what is the next. >> i primarily watch the house and the senate. i used to work in the senate. i tend to switchover there every now and then. coverage of the floor on the networks, there will not have that.
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c-span, that is where you can find what is otherwise not covered. i even listen to c-span in my car. >> bob watches c-span on directtv. c-span is brought to you as a public service by your television provider. >> before the house adjourned on tuesday, a number of members came to the floor urging the speaker to bring up a hurricane sandy care package. this is 35 minutes. >> we have millions of our fellow citizens who have been badly damaged by a storm called
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sandy. overwhelmingly, the united states senate passed some relief. i cannot remember the last time we had a very serious storm, tornado, fire, flood, but we did not act. this congress is apparently leaving town without responding to that emergency. -- not one one of us of us in this congress that could not be in the same position. i live on a coastal state. whether you live in the midwest or the far west, whether you live in the south or the store the north for the west, you could be and your citizens could be and your neighbors could be confronted by a natural disaster or, for that matter, a
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man-made disaster. and our fellow citizens will expect us to respond as united states senate has responded. it was my belief and assurance was given to me that not not 100% and the gentleman who give it to me with -- give it to me was not the one who made this decision. i am greatly disappointed. they should be deeply disappointed and angry that this congress would adjourn without addressing the pain of our fellow citizens. i have been to new york. i walked the beaches. i have seen the homes that have been destroyed. i talked with other members of
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congress. they have all had their citizens deeply damaged by the ravages of the perhaps storm of biblical performance of -- biblical proportions. not from a tornado or flood or fire. i deeply regret this. i cannot change his opinion. but it is not what we ought to be doing. there are republicans who are deeply aggrieved by this action and there are democrats on this floor deeply grieved by this action. this is not the right thing to do. i would hope that it would be reconsidered.
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we have asked our members to stay here, everyone of them, knowing full well they wanted to go home just for a day. to see their families. mr. speaker, i would hope that this decision would be reconsidered. one country, one nation. i yield back the balance of my time. >> the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> mr. speaker, the distinguished gentleman from maryland said what had to be said. but i want to add that i have been in this house for 20 years. we have seen droughts here we
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have seen storms, earthquakes, wildfires out west. this congress has never -- never failed to vote emergency appropriations to the aid of the beleaguered states. never. hurricane sandy strip on october 29, eight or nine weeks ago. it is unprecedented that it should take so long. yet we are now told that this house will adjourn, even though the senate voted the aid, we will do nothing. it is unprecedented. it is disgusting. i can understand -- i would not sympathize, but i would understand with members who say that the amount requested is too much. we should debate it, fine. but to ignore it, to ignore the plight of millions of american citizens, unprecedented, disgusting, and worthy of the leadership of this house.
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they should reconsider or hang their heads in shame, mr. speaker. >> the gentleman's time has expired. what purpose does the gentleman from new jersey seek recognition? >> let me lend my voice to those who recently spoke. my district was devastated by this storm. i have thousands of people who do not have homes, who are living in temporary circumstances. i have municipalities that have extended millions of dollars and try to do the cleanup. the fact of the matter is, if we do not take action tonight and we let this house adjourn without taking action on the supplement before the hurricane, we will suffer a great deal. many of these towns are waiting for the money to come through to provide funding for municipal services, for emergency services, many who are completely broke at this time in terms of their ability to provide help for their
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residents. this is a very serious matter. this need is immediate. this can t wait until next week or next month. there is exactly know when that can happen without having a tremendous negative impact on the residents of my district. so i implore the speaker, please reconsider this decision. it is just not possible for us to continue without having some relief from the federal government. i yield back. >> what purpose does the gentleman from new york's sick recognition? the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> i stand appeared today to join my colleagues on the other side of the aisle and associate my words with the gentleman from maryland. even though my district was not impacted by the devastation of hurricane sandy, it is right and just that we take up this bill and i asked our spigot to reconsider the decision that has been made not to address the supplemental in this congress. and i join my colleagues across
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the aisle to ask for that relief so that we can get to the people that needed the aid that they so are in need of on this day and in this age. i yield back. >> what purpose does the gentleman from new york wish to speak? >> let me join my colleagues in my sadness, that we're here at 11:30 p.m. on the first of january with time running out. we just had a historic vote, a bipartisan vote, something that people did not think we could do here. we did do that. and now we're letting this opportunity slip away when people's homes have been destroyed, when people's businesses have been destroyed, when tens of thousands of people who have suffered over nine weeks have nothing to show for from this congress, that we
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would walk away without doing our part to help the people suffering in new york, in new jersey, connecticut and pennsylvania and other parts of the country is outrageous. it is simply outrageous. we have done our part. we have worked with our colleagues. i think mr. reed and mr. gramm for working with us but it got us to no avail here. we need to work to get this done for our constituency and it has failed. mr. speaker, please reconsider and bring this bill to the floor before we leave this congress. >> what purpose does the gentleman from new york seek recognition? does he seek unanimous consent? the gentleman is recognized. >> tonight's action not to hold a vote is simply a indefensible. there are thousands of people throughout long island, rockaway, staten island, new jersey, throughout the northeast -- the homeless tonight without
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jobs, who have lost their business, this is absolutely indefensible. every bit of documentation that was required by the leadership of this house was provided by governor cuomo, gov. christie, mayor bloomberg -- everybody played by the rules. except for tonight when the rug was pulled out from underneath us. we have a moral obligation to hold this vote. people who are out of their homes, the people who are cold, who are without food, who have lost their jobs, they don't have the time to wait. we cannot just walk away from our responsibilities. i yield back my time. >> the gentleman yield back his time. the gentleman is recognized. >> i am sitting here in shocked this evening. this is supposed to be the people's house. we are the united states house of representatives. we are americans that are suffering because of an act of
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nature. it is our obligation, not as democrats, not as republicans, but as americans to make sure that we come to the aid of americans. and that is why, in this issue, democrats and republicans have worked together. in any kind of crisis, especially when it goes to natural disasters, we have always come together. how can we, at this critical moment, turn our backs on americans? this is not supposed to happen here. it happens in other places. mr. speaker, we cannot turn our backs on our citizens who need us. some will not have a place to stay for a long amount of time, people who have suffered, people who need food. we are americans. this is what's supposed to separate us from everyone else. i am absolutely shocked. mr. speaker, you have to
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reconsider. >> what purpose does the gentleman from new york seek recognition? without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> i have been a member of this by 24 years and i don't think i have ever been as angry as i am tonight. this is unconscionable. in the last debate, i got up and i said that president truman campaigned against the 80th do nothing congress and that do nothing congress passed three times as many bills as this do nothing congress. this a fitting way for this do nothing congress to end. this is an absolute disgrace and the speaker should hang his head in shame for not allowing this to come up. this is again and knocked -- this is again not a republican democratic issue. four of us in the northeast, to be treated this way, is
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absolutely unconscionable. i would ask the speaker to reconsider. i would tell you that i have never been angrier than i am right now. i'm usually angry -- i am usually proud of this house and tonight i am ashamed. >> does the gentleman seek unanimous consent? the gentleman is recognized for one minute pierre >> i want to add my voice to those who have spoken tonight. we need to be there for all those in need now after hurricane sandy. i come from upstate new york. this is a bipartisan effort. i want to thank all of my colleagues in this house who helped my district after hurricanes irene and lee. this body came together to provide the requisite help so we could begin the long road to recovery. we need to be there for all of our american people who need help after storms and as now for
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hurricane sandy. we need to come together. i ask the speaker to reconsider so we can get this aid and help our country get back on track. with that, i yield back. >> what purse purpose does the gentleman from new jersey seek -- what purpose does the gentleman from new jersey seek recognition? >> i represent northeast new jersey. many folks in new jersey and new york and connecticut suffered devastating damage, about $60 billion worth of damage from a natural disaster. and i have also voted time after time for relief from natural disasters. and i dared to the speaker to reconsider this unconscionable, inexplicable refusal to let us vote on disaster relief for the millions who are still suffering in new york, new jersey and connecticut. we provide lots of revenue for
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the united states of america. we are a donor stick to the states to give a lot more federal aid than we give to those in jersey and new york. but the question for the american people, mr. speaker, is why is the speaker of the house doing this? what is going on in his caucus or in his mind, mr. speaker, that would say we will not allow a discussion and a vote on aid that will address $60 billion worth of damages to tens of millions of americans in the northeast. >> the gentleman's time has expired. what purpose does the gentleman from louisiana seek recognition? without objection, the gentleman is recognized. >> mr. speaker, i am from new orleans. we were not affected by sandy. but we were great beneficiaries of this body coming together
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after katrina and rita to helpless in a time of our greatest need. and it is appalling that this house cannot come together when we have so many americans in need. one of the montrose of our service is that -- one of our mantras is no man left behind. as we took one step closer to aid, and averted a financial bankruptcy today, we just took a human asleep toward moral bankruptcy. this house cannot justify to ourselves, to our navels, are pastors, priest, that the actions taken today are right. that the following the model of this great country. is a shameful day. the fact that we're not addressing the needs of the
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sandy victims is not just shameful. this is sinful. i yield back. >> what purpose does the to implement from new jersey seat recognition? >> i join my colleagues in asking the speaker to reconsider. today, housing and businesses hare in shambles. 22,000 units today are uninhabitable. approximately 100,000 new storm- related claims have been filed. of the 235 dozen people have registered for fema, for individual assistance. this is a dire crisis. they are looking to us for help and looking for a timely help. we need to pass this.
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please, mr. speaker, reconsider. >> without objection, the gentle lady is recognized. >> mr. speaker, i truly feel betrayed this evening. i left this floor with an understanding that this bill would be brought to the floor. one of congress's most basic responsibilities is to help families, communities, businesses recover. yet republicans refused to act to help the victims of sandy as expeditiously as we know we can. we can pass this bill tomorrow with bipartisan support. yet the republicans will adjourn this session, allow this bill to be buried and make sure that the people of our communities not get the help they need. disaster knows no boundaries.
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this body has worked with speed to help americans in disaster after disaster. this function, mr. speaker, in this congress should not result in punishing the victims of sandy in new york, new jersey, connecticut and pennsylvania. this is a sad day. hired to the speaker to reconsider the decision -- i urge the speaker to reconsider the decision to not bring the matter to the floor. now want to thank all of those who have been advocating for sandy. we need to do this before we adjourn. >> what purpose does the gentleman from new york seek recognition? without objection, the gentleman is recognized. >> it is with an extremely heavy heart that i stand here almost in disbelief and somewhat ashamed.
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what i am thinking about, friends and neighbors that lost more than their homes, more than their worldly possessions, more than the businesses they have worked for their entire lives, they lost family members and now i have to go home and tell them their new year's gift is that they will wait even longer -- even longer for something they shouldn't have over a month ago. it is inexcusable. i am here tonight saying to myself, for the first time, that i am not proud of the decision my team has made. it was the wrong decision and i will be respectful and ask that the speaker reconsider his decision because it is not about politics. it is about human lives and human dignity. and i prayed that he understands
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that. thank you and i yield back pierre >> what purpose does the gentleman from new york seek recognition? does the gentleman seek unanimous consent? the gentleman is recognized. >> who know their harmony people watching us late this night who truly don't believe that the house of representatives can turn their back on any american in any part of this great nation. but, mr. speaker, maybe you can help us by reminding the people that we have a switch for down here. it is too low 2-225-3131. remain at be able to do anything because the leadership just walked away without the courtesy of saying that they did not have time to deal with the millions
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of people whose lives have been affected. maybe, mr. speaker, if you can remind americans who are watching that maybe they should call and ask the congress and ask the speaker please reconsider. we have to be here tomorrow. we were told to be here tomorrow. what ever happened to make someone angry tonight, the people that are suffering as a result of this disaster, they are not responsible. don't make them pay for it. >> what purpose does the gentleman from pennsylvania seek recognition? without objection, the gentleman is recognized. >> mr. speaker, i rise as a person from a state that was directly affected because my state of pennsylvania, while impacted, it was nowhere near the devastation nisi in new york, new jersey and parts of connecticut. i was in new york a week ago in
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an elevator and a man was telling me how happy he was that he finally had a chance to get out of the pickup truck that he had been sleeping in since the storm. he was hoping, for the first time, to get back to his home. this story is but one of hundreds of thousands through this devastated region. we have stepped up for our neighbors in other parts of the country because these acts of nature are larger than any individual. we must be larger than that. support the ability to give that support to those in this time of need. >> what purpose does the gentle lady from california seek recognition? the gentle lady is recognized pierre >> mr. speaker, if you have ever had and natural disaster affect your area or if you have never visited a natural disaster, be it in california,
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my home state, or in the east coast or the midwest, iowa, missouri in recent times, and spoke to and listened to the pain in the voices and saw the fight in the eyes of the people affected, you would wonder why we are not bringing this legislation to the floor. because it is not about a natural disaster. it is about the human experience. when i was a very new member of congress in the late-1980's, we were affected in california by the loma linda if earthquake. i bring that up because, the very next day after the earthquake, the chairman of the appropriations committee came to the floor of the house without anyone going to him more asking. he went to the floor of the
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house and said to the people of california congress will honor our responsibility to the american people. we will put forth what meets the needs of the people. we need to work together to get that done. it was such a comfort. these were just words. it was such a comfort to the people just to hear that and to know that the chairman would act upon that. as for the past few weeks, i know that our colleagues in new york, new jersey, connecticut, pennsylvania and other surrounding areas have been assuring their constituents and the people of their areas that the federal government would be there for them. it is a social compact. it is the most important time they have to us. again, if you could hear their personal stories, they will never be made whole. the rug has been pulled out from
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under them in terms of their housing, their belongings, their pictures, their memories, the character of their neighborhoods. and now, tonight, this house of representatives will pull the rug out again from them. just to remind, the senate of the united states, in a bipartisan fashion, past $50.4 billion assistance program for this natural disaster. it met the documented need that was put forth by the people of the region, by gov. christie, by governor cuomo, by gov. malloy, by mere bloomberg and by so many others. the documented need. again, it will not make everyone whole emotionally and their personal belongings and their memories and the rest. but it is a sign of respect.
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we cannot let what happened stand and that the forces will be there to try to return them to some sense of order and home and home life. so i don't know if any decision has been made. i hope not. i hope that, as the leadership needs and considers an agenda or a possible agenda for tomorrow, they would reconsider this. because this goes deep into the hearts of people as they feel a sense of helplessness to something they had no responsibility for, a natural disaster. remember last year when we visited some places where homes were uprooted. it is home, wind and fire. when something like that happens, it is the wind, the water, the fires, every kind of
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thing assaulting people. let's not be part of that assault by putting doubts in their mind as to whether there's appreciation for what they have lost, a respect for who they are, and honoring of our social compact that the government will be there when people are in need. we never had a moment of fear that our need to be met. make this night as if it never happened. let's replace the impression that is out there with the idea that tomorrow we will take of the senate bill or take a compromise that has been worked out. but we cannot leave here doing nothing. that would be a disgrace. i yield back the balance of my time. >> for what purpose does the gentleman from pennsylvania seek
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recognition? without objection, the gentleman is recognized. >> thank you, mr. speaker. as a retiring member, i am proud to stand with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to urge action on this important issue. over the past two years, i have often been frustrated by the actions of the senate for the inaction, i should say, the senate where we would send the bill after bill of their. not that there would voted down but that they would not vote. there would not allow the will of the people to be expressed by the vote being taken. if we conclude on thursday of this week without this issue, we're denying the will of the people being heard. i would contend that the will of the people in america, if one thing that they are comfortable spending money on is on their fellow americans. there's great need in new jersey and elsewhere and new york.
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i hope that we will come to that decision, that it is never too late to do the right thing. and the right thing is to allow the will of the people to be expressed and let people express their opinions through the vote. and if that happens, the will of the people will send the aid for those who are badly in need. >> what purpose does the gentleman from new jersey seek recognition? does the gentleman seek unanimous consent? the gentleman is recognized. >> thank you, mr. speaker. i am very dismayed by what i have heard tonight. that we would allow the citizens in this nation, like any of us who would think, at a time when natural disaster, that they could depend on their congress, their nation, the people of this
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country. many times, we have come to the aid of citizens throughout this nation. why not now? what is different now? new york, new jersey, and connecticut, parts of pennsylvania have been devastated. my district, not as much. but we still have issues there that need to be addressed. just the other day, i was on vacation with my children. i got a call and there was a leak in my house from the roof. i did not realize there was about a 10-foot patch of my roof missing from sandy. i have the wherewithal to take care of it. but there are hundreds of thousands of residents in those states that need our help. i was told by a member of this
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body who was laid to rest this year that this was a great body to serve in. please, let me know that he was telling the truth. >> what purpose does the gentleman from pennsylvania seek recognition? >> thank you, mr. speaker. my congressional district in new jersey, hundreds of thousands of people in my congressional district have been without power for some time. we were very much impacted. we were sheltering many of the evacuees who were looking for friends and family who needed place to feel comfortable. frankly, i am not yet convinced
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that this legislate as you this legislation adequately addresses the concerns, but -- that this legislation adequately addresses the concerns, but i think it is imperative that we stay here and address this issue. obviously, all of us have places we would like to be right now here it is important. our friends are struggling. >> what purpose does the gentleman from new jersey seek recognition? without objection. >> e parvez eminem, one of many -- e pluribus unum, one element of many. one of the worst storms in history, there are thousands of people who are not going back to their homes. they deserve our help.
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i wish i could speak as articulately and with such a measured manner as our leader did and so many others, but my anchor will get the better of me. some weeks ago, someone said to me that you will not get the help you need because these are blue states. i would like to think that this is not a partisan matter. but i have to wonder. what could be going on here? why would we not help each other as this house has always done? >> the gentleman's time has expired. are there any other requests for
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one-minute speeches? what purpose does the gentleman from california seek recognition? without objection, the gentleman from california is recognized. >> this will be the last chance i will be able to address the house. six and a half years ago, i had the privilege of coming to the house. and i would like to paraphrase what i said then. i come from a classic coastal community. after having been out of the congress for five years, the return me here to the house and the 50th district deemed that classic environmental community [indiscernible] i would just ask the both sides understand what a privilege it is to represent the 50th. but in leaving, i just want to say one thing. i hear that one of the major address is thel
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issue of immigration. i would ask the one place that democrats and republicans should be able to agree on this, especially with the budget crisis, is when will we stop the practice of people who are committing a crime by employing illegal immigrants, take the tax deduction away and require that, if a business wants to claim a business deduction for employing somebody, that we make sure those employees are legal just by requiring e-verify. i will miss a lot of faces around here in washington. diegan, let me assure you i will not miss the weather. >> i move that the house adjourn. >> those in favor? those opposed to?
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>> in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it. the house stands adjourned until 10:00 a.m. tomorrow. we are turned. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012] >> congress last night sent obama legislation to avoid a national office " cliff. -- national fiscal cliff. the measure passed 257-167. here is some of tuesday's debate.
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>> we are making permanent tax policies that republicans originally crafted. back then, despite having a majority in the house, a majority in the senate, and a republican in the white house, those policies were only temporary. that is because democrats refused to join republicans in refusing relief to working families. democrats are finally joined republicans in making these tax cuts permanent. the people of getting something really important, permanent tax relief. as big as that is and it is only the first step when it comes to taxes, this legislation suttles the level of revenue that washington should bring in. next, we need to make the tax code more simpler and more fair for families and small businesses. and we need to seek a comprehensive and fundamental comprehensive and fundamental tax reform to create the